News is information about current events that is published in print or broadcast, such as through newspapers or magazines, TV or radio and the internet. Democracies depend on a free press to keep their citizens informed and to help them make the best decisions for their country. A newspaper or television news story can include a range of topics and be geared towards different audiences, from general readers to specific communities or industries. A well written news article is interesting and accurate but should also be concise so that readers can get the most important information in a short amount of time.
The classic definition of a good news story is that it is new, unusual, interesting and significant. A good news story will also have a human element and have some impact on people. For example, a story about a robbery at a convenience store will make people interested in the outcome of the incident and the actions of the criminals. The story will be more compelling if the reader can understand why the incident occurred and who was affected by it.
There are a number of elements that can make something newsworthy, including: Magnitude: how big or significant an event is; for example, a major flood or earthquake. Proximity: does it affect the reader’s home or local area? Controversy: does the subject cause an emotional response or spark debate? Prominence: does the person involved have some status or fame? Impact: does the event change the way we live or the lives of those who are involved?
Another factor in the newsworthiness of a story is its impact on society. For example, a coup in the next country over is a much bigger story than a burglary in your neighbourhood. A story about the rich and famous is usually of interest, especially when they lose their wealth or become involved in scandals. Health: stories about diseases, hospitals and clinics, traditional remedies, the food we eat and how we exercise are of interest to many people. Sex: all societies are interested in sex, although some may not talk openly about it.
Writing a news article can be challenging, as it must be accurate and contain relevant information, but it must also be compelling and short. Readers are often overwhelmed with information from the media and if an article is long or difficult to read they will not take the time to finish it. A snappy headline will grab the audience’s attention and lead into an article that is clear, concise and interesting to read.
It is helpful to write an outline before beginning to draft a news article. This will help you plan the content and focus on what is most important to your audience. A useful planning tool is to ask yourself the “5 W’s”: who, where, when, what and why. This will help you decide what is most important for your audience and how to present the story in a way that is appealing and relevant.